Sunday, June 30, 2024

20s in the 70s

70th Birthday Cake
Tequesta, FL
June 29, 2024

 Chris and I celebrated a friend's 70th birthday last evening. 

It was a big affair and was attended by many neighbors and friends. We had a great time and enjoyed the conversation and the festivities. 

But it was a 70th Birthday party. We can delude ourselves into thinking 70 is the new 50--but it is still 70.

I heard a saying the other day that describes the situation that our generation finds itself in:

In the 70s we were in our 20s, but now in the 20s we are in our 70s. 

Some people rephrase is as saying I had a lot more fun being 20 in the 70s than I am being 70 in the 20s--but you know what--for Chris and I (although we are not yet 70, but it is within spitting distance) that is just not true. We are having a lot more fun now being retired and enjoying life, our family, and friends than we did as struggling recent graduates and with a young family and new careers in the 70s. 

I guess I am thankful for where I am--right now!

Happy last day of June 2024! My favorite month of the year begins tomorrow!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Off the Beach

Ride Computer
Tequesta, FL
June 27, 2024

 The afternoon weather has been stormy the past few days. This led us to celebrating happy hour off the beach last evening. 

We went to a local restaurant and enjoyed some great conversation, wine, and apps. I was excited about oysters for $1.50/shuck. I enjoyed three as I split the half dozen we ordered. 

The clouds and thunderstorms kept us off the beach because there is nothing worse than being caught on the beach during a thunderstorm.  

Getting out during the mornings before the storms form is critical. That is when I bike. I have ridden 295 miles this month and am hopeful of getting out tomorrow to push my total over the 300 mile mark. I realize the 160 miles I rode the GAP really helped me reach the 300-mile mark, but this would not be my first month of achieving that mark. October 2022 and March 2023 are the other months that I have managed to exceed 300 logged miles. 

Goals are fun to have, especially when they are achieved. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, June 28, 2024

Off to the Show!

 Instead of watching the disaster that was the presidential debate, last evening Chris and I had tickets to see Mama Mia at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. We had a great time. 

The music was, as always, stirring and the performances were exciting and energizing. 

The Kravis continues to be a great theater in which to see top notch performances. And it is so easy to get out after the show--unlike many places where I have to wait 30 or more minutes to exit the parking garage. 

After the Curtain Call Encore of Mama Mia
Kravis Center, West Palm Beach, FL?
June 27, 2024

The show was great! As I wrote the music and the acting was energizing and the song finale after the show was stirring and brought the audience to their feet and many joined in with the celebration. 

Even with the rain, it was an evening to remember and was what an evening at the theater should be: memorable entertainment! 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, June 27, 2024

One Mile at a Time

Tortoise Along the Street
Tequesta, FL
June 27, 2024

 Yesterday, during my 15-mile bike ride with Chris I crossed the 4,000 mile threshold. 

That of course is logged miles. I have ridden a few more miles that were not logged. 

My Bike in Front of Jeremy and Patrick
On the GAP Trail, Dunbar, PA
June 15, 2024

It was an easy ride yesterday. Chris is trying to get back into shape after laying off for two months. I am planning a more aggressive 17-mile ride today to maintain my training level. The ride yesterday was much more enjoyable than the golf we played a day earlier. 

After having another new cassette installed, my bike is riding very well and still seems light when I start-up given that I am no longer carrying about 40-extra pounds of gear. 

During the ride, we did spy one lone tortoise munching along the street. It was wary of our passing, but held its ground.

I need to get out earlier today as we are having a new refrigerator delivered. I am tired of troubleshooting the current one which seems beset with a myriad of problems. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

On the Course

First Hole
Jupiter Dunes, Jupiter, FL
June 25, 2024

 It had been three months since the last time that Chris and I touched our golf clubs on a course, until yesterday. The morning looked very pleasant and we realized that we are not golfing like we should be in preparation for our nephew's memorial golf tournament during August. 

Waterfowl on the Course
Jupiter Dunes, Jupiter, FL
June 25, 2024

And so, we headed off to the course yesterday. The temperature was a balmy 86 degrees as we teed off. As we walked the course, the weather grew hotter and more humid. By the time we departed, after playing the 18th Hole, which I miraculously parred, the temperature was approaching 93 degrees with stifling humidity. 

It was a good day, considering. I reacquainted myself with my clubs and resolved that I need new grips. I did not recover my distance, not that I had any, but that will come as we continue to play in the blisteringly hot conditions. 

We need to get out a bit earlier to enjoy the cooler weather.

That is the same for biking as well. I need to start riding at 7:30 rather than 9:00.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Keeping a Watchful Eye

Keeping a Watchful Eye
Tequesta, FL
June 22, 2024

 Finn is a great dog, let me just start with that. 

Yes, I used to refer to him as our auxiliary dog, meaning back-up, but he is now the primary dog and the only pet in our family. He has grown into the role well. 

Finn also is very pliable and by that I mean he travels well and he also stays behind well. He almost understands when he will be traveling and when he is expected to remain behind. Usually he is very good when waiting with the notable exception being the other morning in the hotel when we tried to get for breakfast without him. It was not happening. We had to go back to the room for him and take him with us. 

Sometimes, though, he just sets himself up and watches the activity of the house happening around him. This was the case the other day. I think we had decided to clean the kitchen after a meal and he was too lazy to join us. He was so cute just laying there, monitoring the activity. 

And that is the Finn-dawg.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, June 24, 2024

Monday Musings - June 24, 2024


1. The last Monday of June has arrived. The year is approaching the one-half mark--it is your choice whether that is one-half gone or remaining. There are 27 Mondays remaining in the year.

Mason-Dixon Line Park
GAP Trail
June 16, 2024

2. One of the stops we made during the GAP ride was along the Mason-Dixon Line. There is a small park where the line is paved in white rock and there is a prominent marker. In the image, PA is on the left and MD is on the right side of the line.

3.  It was very good to get home after over a month of almost continuous travel. We began to feel like our home was just another temporary stop. At one point last week, I had slept in five different beds in a seven day period--and none of them were mine!

4. I continue to be amazed by the number of vehicles traveling in excess of what must be 90 mph on the highways and they weave in and out of traffic. There has to be a way to stop them as they make driving dangerous. 

5. On Thursday, Moody’s Analytics, which evaluates risk, performance, and financial modeling, compared the economic promises of President Joe Biden and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. Authors Mark Zandi, Brendan LaCerda, and Justin Begley concluded that while a second Biden presidency would see cooling inflation and continued economic growth of 2.1%, a Trump presidency would be an economic disaster. (Letters from an American)

6. Today in HistoryOn June 24, 1997, U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier.

Public interest in Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs, began to flourish in the 1940s, when developments in space travel and the dawn of the atomic age caused many Americans to turn their attention to the skies. The town of Roswell, located near the Pecos River in southeastern New Mexico, became a magnet for UFO believers due to the strange events of early July 1947, when ranch foreman W.W. Brazel found a strange, shiny material scattered over some of his land. He turned the material over to the sheriff, who passed it on to authorities at the nearby Air Force base. On July 8, Air Force officials announced they had recovered the wreckage of a “flying disk.” A local newspaper put the story on its front page, launching Roswell into the spotlight of the public’s UFO fascination. 

US aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea as Russia-North Korea defense pact deepens regional fears - CNN

Unrelenting heat wave set to shift into the South today - CNN

Blaze in South Korea battery plant kills 22 workers - Reuters

Ukraine inches closer to EU dream after decade of war - Reuters

Ukraine’s Naval Drones Turn the Tide in the Battle of the Black Sea - The Wall Street Journal

The Texas Factory About to Become a Key Ammo Supplier for the U.S., Ukraine - The Wall Street Journal

Americans Are All Over Europe This Summer. Here’s How to Outsmart the Crowds. - The Wall Street Journal

Hajj heat wave deaths underscore climate threat for most vulnerable - The Washington Post

Abortion Debate Shifts as Election Nears: ‘Now It’s About Pregnancy - The New York Times

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Sunday, June 23, 2024

Oiut the Hotel Windows: Pittsburgh and Connellsville, PA

AC Hotel
Pittsburgh, PA
June 14, 2024

 I have a twofer for today's offering. During the GAP ride, I stayed in two hotels and one hostel. As we never opened the curtain in the hostel, I did not take an image out the window of the houses and train tracks, but I did take images of the scene from windows in the hotels. 

The first is from the lobby, which interestingly enough is on the 7th floor, of the AC Hotel on the Strip in Pittsburgh, PA. What a great view! It was a Friday morning, not all that early, but yet not a lot of traffic was evident. We left the hotel and began our day on the GAP shortly after I took this image. 

Comfort Inn
Connellsville, PA
June 15, 2024

The second hotel window was in Connellsville, PA. I took this one out my room window. The hotel is right on the Youghiagheny River. I never would have believed that such a great hotel would be in a small village like Connellsville--but it is and next year when I tackle the GAP with Chris, we will spend our first night there. There is a very inviting fire pit right on the river bank. Except for the rain, it would have been a great place to enjoy the evening. 

We began our second day in Connellsville and it was a tough almost continuous uphill ride where we gained almost 1000 feet of elevation during the almost 47 mile ride. 

I got on my bike yesterday for a ride. It was my first ride after the GAP. Without all of the bags and gear, the bike felt light. Well, at least at the beginning. It was good to be back in Florida and riding although the humidity was stifling. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Friday Evening is Beach Time

Carlin Park Beach
Jupiter, FL
June 21, 2024

 Chris and I headed to the beach last evening to enjoy Happy Hour with friends. The beach was the perfect escape from the oppressive heat. We were greeted by beautiful cloud-filled skies, bright sun, a strong surf, and a pleasant wind to keep the experience comfortable. There were even surfers to provide entertainment.

The Crew
Carlin Park, Jupiter, FL
June 21, 2024

Sitting on the beach at the end of the week, and especially a week in which we traveled, provided a way to relax and unwind from the activity. 

The surfers always provide a show and since I can't surf, I am always fascinated at how they balance themselves upon the ever-changing waves and avoid crashing onto the shore. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, June 21, 2024

Buc-ee's - St Augustine

St Augustiine, FL
 June 20, 2024

 Beginning the day in Pooler, Georgia, meant that we had an easy 5-plus hour drive and would arrive home in the mid-afternoon with enough time to unpack and resume life before dinner.

It was a great plan--and it worked! 

One thing that Chris and I did was to stop at a Buc-ee's to better understand the mystique of the place. We visited a Buc-ee's in St Augustine, FL, for gas and to get some sandwiches for lunch. This Buc-ee's is across the street from a Costco and so the traffic is a bit heavy.

We were amazed!

The place is huge and after gassing the truck we spent about another 30 minutes exploring the store. Most importantly; the restrooms are fantastic! The selection of sandwiches and things to buy means that this is a great place to stop on a trip. One of the reasons that I was interested is that a Buc-ee's is planned for I-95 near Ft Pierce, FL. That would provide a great place to get gas and snack items as we head out on our regular treks north.

Wait, did I mention that gas was $2.99/gallon? It was the least expensive gas we found on our trip!

As for the flamingo sign, I did find the cute sign in Buc-ee's. No, I did not buy it.

We arrived home safely and I able to get my bike to the shop and have it repaired before the shop closed. I may not have mentioned it, but my bike had a problem on the GAP ride that I was able to troubleshoot. The shop covered the repair under warranty on the cassette that I had installed as part of my pre-trip maintenance. Yay!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, June 20, 2024

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

Me in front of the B-17G City of Savannah
Pooler, GA
June 19, 2024

 I have driven by this museum, which sits just off I-95, on many occasions. There is a beautiful B-47 sitting outside which calls to me every time we pass it on the road. Yet, until yesterday, I had been too focused upon the destination and not the journey to stop and visit the museum.

B-17G City of Savannah
Pooler, GA
June 19, 2024

The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is located in Pooler, Georgia. Actually, it is a Savannah exit. It is easy on and off the interstate and definitely worth a stop if your interests include the Air Force and WW2. 

Both of those topics interest me and I was assigned to Eighth Air Force for six years of my Air Force career. First to a bombardment wing in Rome, NY, and then to the Eighth Air Force Headquarters itself which was then at Barksdale AFB, LA. 

The museum presently focuses the history to the Eighth Air Force through the Berlin Airlift, but is being expanded. There are two Vietnamese era fighters on display outside: a MiG-17 and an F-4. But the items associated with WW2 and the story of the campaigns and the crews and personnel assigned are rich. The museum has the only escape and survival section, in the form of a reconstructed house, that I have seen and describes how the civilians living in Europe assisted allied airmen to evade and escape from Nazi-controlled areas--often at the price of their own lives and freedom. 

Why is the museum outside Savannah? I learned that the first headquarters of the Eighth Air Force was in Savannah, Georgia! 

The artifacts in the museum are inspiring and relevant to today. I found the Hitler Youth Oath posted on the wall of the museum. The youth are often portrayed as more like the Boy Scouts, but this oath indicates that it was much more allegiance to one man and not an ideal or a republic--but a single person, which I found scary.

Of all of the items in the museum, except for of course the B-17, one item that really caught eye was the Nazi banner. I had never seen one in real life. I had seen images of them hanging from buildings, but never fully comprehended their larger than life size and impact. 

I definitely recommend this museum. They also have a mission briefing that runs through how the aircrews were prepped for missions and the ground crews maintained the planes. It has a lot of actual footage and is well done. I was told it is soon to be replaced by  something similar which is being produced by the 100 Bomb Group organization which assisted with the series Master's of the Air.

-- Bob Doan, Pooler, GA

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

South for the Summer


Mockingbird with Nut
Welcome to North Carolina Welcome Center I-95S
June 19, 2024

Summer begins tomorrow afternoon at 4:51 PM. We should be back at our home in Florida shortly before Spring hands off the season to Summer. 

We are on the road home after a short visit to allow my assault on the GAP. 

And now I am tackling I-95. Ugh. At least things seem light so far because of the holiday. 

— Bob Doan, mm157 North Carolina

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Riding the GAP - The Light at the end of the Tunnel

Brush Tunnel
Near Cumberland, MD
June 16, 2024

 The third day of the GAP ride was tunnel day. We rode through three long tunnels, one of them was almost 3300 feet. I learned that tunnels are dark and cold! Really cold!

The last tunnel was most interesting, however, not because of its particular geography or length, but because as we arrived to transit, a Western Maryland Scenic Railroad train was coming out of the tunnel. Truly, the light at the end of the tunnel was an oncoming train. 

We stopped and chatted with the runner in the image while the train passed. It was pretty exciting because we had been riding along the tracks for quite a few miles and I hoped that we would get to see the train. And we did!

I enjoyed waving to the people on the train. When we lived in Maryland I wanted to ride the train, but never was able to get it on the schedule. 

I feel fortunate that within a few miles of the end of the three-day ride to have actually arrived at the perfect moment to see the train emerge from the tunnel. Coincidence? I think not. 

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, June 17, 2024

The Gap - We did it!

 At about 12:30 PM, Sunday, June 16, 2024, three travelers biked into Cumberland, MD, completing a Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail ride. There were no bands or cheering crowds, just three riders on fully loaded bikes achieving the goal they had set out three-days earlier in Pittsburgh, PA, to achieve. 

Milemarker 0
Cumberland, MD
June 16, 2024
Photo by Patrick

I took an image of final day the stats, just to remember better what we had accomplished. We had climbed over 1300 feet in about 20 miles and then descended about 2300 feet in 24 miles. We were in the saddle for about 3h46m, but were out on the trail from 7:20 AM until 12:32 PM for a total ride time of 5h12m. We stopped a lot to enjoy the countryside and the beauty.

There was so much to see along the way. We saw farmland and hills. We enjoyed crossing long bridges and biking through long tunnels. We even got to experience a train passing us and coming out of a tunnel that we were about to traverse. We stopped to let the diesel smoke clear from the tunnel before proceeding through. 

Patrick and Jeremy on the Trail
Greenville Township, PA
June 16, 2024

The final day was not without equipment problems. My bike decided to go into freewheeling mode again. I think the hub, which has almost 4000 miles on it, may need replacing. I will take it into the shop when I get back to Florida for a definite diagnosis.

Atop the World coming out of the Big Savage Tunnel
June 16, 2024
Photo by Patrick

But completing the ride, actually it was a journey, was the best. Along the way we biked just shy of 160 miles. That distance includes the off-trail riding to and from hotels, bike shops, and eateries. 

I think we had a good plan, which was devised by Jen. Doing the long ride, almost 60 miles, the first day set us up for success on the tough almost completely uphill second day. It then allowed us to enjoy the assault on the summit followed by the 24-mile mostly downhill into Cumberland. To dispel a myth--yes we did pedal on the downhill, but our speeds averaged about 15-16 mph which offset the 9-10 mph on the uphill side.

Eastern Continental Divide
GAP Trail
June 16, 2024
Photo by Patrick

The Big Savage Tunnel, at 3294 feet, was an experience. It was dark, even with my sunglasses off. And it was cold. All of that made it a bit disorienting. 

This ride had been planned for a long time. And as I wrote earlier, a big thank you goes to Jen, who was not able to join us on the trip she planned. But, she was critical in helping us complete the trip after the accident. Thanks to Patrick for his advice and help in selecting gear and giving advice about how to best tackle the ride and for persevering after flying over his handlebars and impacting the ground rather roughly. It was his fifth trip on the GAP. Finally, to Jeremy for being a force of reason during the difficult time on the trail after the accident when it seemed that the ride may be over before we completed Day 1 and for leading the final 6-mile tough uphill leg during Day 2. 

I can't believe it's over, but am happy that we did it. Yesterday was my best Father's Day ever--on the trail and lunch with my boys and then having dinner with my daughter.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Day 2 - GAP

Ready to Depart
Connellsville, PA
June 15, 2024

We survived.  

It was 45 miles uphill. We gained over 1000 feet in elevation as we rode today.  Thankfully, it was at a low incline.  But all uphill. 

We left Connellsville this morning full of enthusiasm and arrived in Rockwood about 4pm after a grueling day. Along the way we crossed bridges hundreds of feel above gorges.  We saw whitewater rafters and had a broken spoke fixed at a bike shop. 

Bridge into Ohiopyle
Ohiopyle, PA
June 15, 2024

But, unlike Friday there was no major accident to slow our progress. 

The bridges we crossed were awesome. High above the river. It was fun to see the people on the river. 

Great day. 

Today our goal is Cumberland, MD. It will be a tale of two rides.  The first half will see us gain another 600 feet of elevation and the last half will be a downhill where we lose about 1600 feet of elevation. Fun. 

— Bob Doan, Rockwood, PA

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Day 1 into Day 2 - The GAP

Waterfall along the trail
June 14, 2024

We completed our aggressive day1 ride.  But, it was not until 8:30 pm that everyone arrived at the hotel. As I previously wrote, we stopped for lunch with about 25 miles remaining in our planned ride. After lunch we completed another 10 miles before problems happened. My bike developed a weird thing where the pedals turned freely in both directions.  Ugh. After taking the back wheel off to examine the free spinning cassette, I banged the tire on the ground and everything returned to normal.  Apparently the lever which allows the pedals to go backwards freely failed to reengage. We reassembled the bike and it worked perfectly for the rest of the day.  

About one-half mile later, however, Patrick collided with my rear tire and bent his front rim.  He also took a nasty tumble. We fixed the rim as best we could to allow the bike to be ridden, but it had to go to a bike shop.  The decision was to head back to West Newton which was 5 miles closer than Connellsville. Jeremy accompanied him while I pressed ahead to check into the hotel. Through a series of events best left for Patrick to explain, they wound up in Pittsburgh to replace the wheel and then Jen drove them to the hotel in Connellsville. 

So we are all back together with functional bikes for the next two days of planned riding. It was not easy, but it is done. 

Today is a planned 40-mile ride.

— Bob Doan, Connellsville, PA

Friday, June 14, 2024

GAP Day 1


Point State Park
Pittsburgh, PA
June 14, 2024

We are 35 miles into the ride.  We are planning 60 for today ending in Connellsville, PA. 

Riding out of Pittsburgh along the river was beautiful and also a testament to the steel city.

We will depart West Newton in a few minutes to hit the trail again full and ready for the remainder of the day. The weather is awesome.

Bob Doan, West Newton. PA

Preparing to Ride


And we departed for the ride yesterday.  We arrived safely in Pittsburgh and are preparing to head out. The car was fully loaded as are our bikes. 

It is early and we are hoping get 60 miles done before the afternoon thunderstorms. 

More later. 

— Bob Doan, Pittsburgh, PA

Thursday, June 13, 2024

A Fun Evening with Family


Luke Catching Flying Seafood
Ellicott City, MD
June 12, 2024

It was an evening for celebrations and much of the family joined together for a meal at Sakura Japanese Steakhouse in Ellicott City. 

I have to admit, I am still getting used to the oppressive traffic in the Baltimore area. I had forgotten how bad traffic is on the main roads from about 3:30 PM to after 7 PM. I have been about 15 minutes late for everything I have attempted during those times. Last night was no exception. 

We had a wonderful time at the restaurant, once we arrived. The family had good fun at the table and there was so much to discuss--especially for those of us heading out on the GAP ride tomorrow. 

Of course the meal ended with the tossing of shrimp and people trying to catch it in their mouths. I do not think anyone caught the shrimp. That was lucky for me because the chef forgot I'm allergic to and I got caught in the moment of trying to catch the airborne shellfish until the cry at the table brought me to reality and I allowed the seafood to bounce off my face. 

It was truly a fun evening with family. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

It's Alive

3D Printer Printing
Glen Burnie, MD
June 10, 2024

 I was given a non-functional 3D printer a few months ago. I spent a lot of time trying to fix it and replaced a number of parts. Fortunately, my son Patrick is very good with 3D printers; he has a small 3D printer farm. 

I brought the non-functional printer with me as we journeyed north and Monday night, shortly after Chris and I returned to Maryland, Patrick gave the printer about 30 minutes of his time and then, miraculously, the printer printed its first, possibly ever, project. 


For my part, I was close to the fix, but not having Patrick's depth of knowledge the obvious problem was unseen by me. Now I get to take the printer back to Florida and hopefully will start making projects. 

I am still preparing for the upcoming bike event as we depart for the GAP ride on Thursday afternoon! I may do an easy 8-11 mile ride today just to stay in shape.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

And We're Here

 Cooler temperatures and lower humidity greeted Chris and me when we finally arrived in Maryland yesterday. Who knew that 82 degrees could feel cool?

An amazing thing happened on the road yesterday. My truck turned in its best MPG ever! It hit 20.8 MPG as we were struggling in Virginia I-95 traffic. I am lucky that my smart glasses can take an image without my eyes leaving the road. The previous best was something in the 19 MPG range. I have no idea why a truck with over 91,000 miles suddenly got a bit more efficient, but I'm happy about it.

The drive yesterday, while shorter than the day before, seemed longer. Maybe it was the crazy traffic we encountered from about Richmond, VA, to our destination. 

I am happy to report that my bike arrived without any problems. I took it for a short spin around the neighborhood to do a basic check, but I'm hopeful of a longer ride later today or tomorrow just to do a complete check and keep myself in shape for the upcoming GAP ride. 

It is going to be a busy few days.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, June 10, 2024

Out the Hotel Window - Fayetteville, North Carolina

Ground Floor Room
Fayetteville, NC
June 9, 2024

 It is perhaps the worst view ever out the hotel window. 

An obstructed view with the air conditioning unit and a view of the parking lot. I've had better, but I think never worse. We are in a first floor suite, but it is convenient since we are traveling with Finn. And, it turns out, we don't leave the shades open because people can see into the room.

Finn in the Hotel
Fayetteville, NC
June 9, 2024

Finn has adapted to the room quite well, as long as we are with him. He woke me about 5 AM with the need to go outside, which I dutifully did and at least he made the interruption of my sleep worthwhile. He came back to the room and went to sleep--I was not so lucky; drifting off only briefly. 

We are heading to breakfast soon and then it is back on the road for the most grueling 5 hours of the trip. It would be a great drive, if only we could somehow avoid the Richmond to Washington drive on I-95. It is sure to be fraught with traffic and stops. Hopefully the morning rush will be mostly over once we get to Richmond. 

-- Bob Doan, Fayetteville, NC

Sunday, June 9, 2024

On the Road North

On the Road 
I-95 in Florida
June 9, 2024

 It is a beautiful Sunday morning and we have been on the road already two hours.  We still have over 230 miles remaining in Florida. Looking forward to getting into our hotel sometime about 3:30 PM. 

Finns finally settled and we just completed our first rest stop so maybe he will sleep for a while. He was funny this morning making sure that we were not leaving without him. 

Well, a long day ahead and despite the thunderstorm forecast, it is clear now.  I put my bike in the truck bed rather than have it hanging on the rack in back to protect it from the elements. 

And the road goes on  

Bob Doan, Edgewater, Fl

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Closing out the Week

Dinner at Cooper's Hawk
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
June 6, 2024

 I competed my last checkout ride before traveling to Maryland in preparation for riding the GAP. It was a pleasant 17-mile ride with about 60 percent of the load I expect to drag along on the impending 150-mile ride. It was a bit strange at the beginning, but after about 5 miles, I no longer noticed the additional weight. I hope the real ride is like that. 

Before Friday even began we enjoyed a great meal, and some wine, at Cooper's Hawk on Thursday evening. It was one of those spur-of-the-moment decisions and we had a great time for a couple hours of wine tasting and then eating a very nice meal. 

And then Friday arrived. 

Chris Checking Out a Hat
Tequesta, FL
June 6, 2024

We are  preparing for the upcoming roadtrip. I continued getting my bike bags packed with what I think I'll need for the trip. Jen produced a great spreadsheet which lays out the basic necessities and I have been following through dutifully getting the items I will need for the ride. Yesterday's big purchase was a $10 small, 2-pound folding stool. I got it at, of all places, Wally World (er, umm, I mean Walmart). I actually hate going to Walmart because the parking lot is a danger zone with crazy drivers and even worse, people walking who just wander behind moving cars. But I got the stool and Chris bought a small camelback water backpack for her riding. She needs a lot of liquids when we ride.

By this time tomorrow I hope to be on the road headed north. The drive weather forecast looks ominous. There is a potential for thunderstorms and rain almost all day! Ugh. Well, the truck is big and heavy. Monday looks clear, however.

I will plan on blogging from the road to advise of the actual conditions. I guess my bike, which will be on the bike rack on the back of the truck, is going to get wet! It probably will not be the last time it gets wet as rain is forecast during the GAP ride.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

#travel #biking #GAP #GreatAlleghenyPassage #CoopersHawk

Friday, June 7, 2024

Hitting the Waves

US-1 Bridge Construction
Loxahatchee River, Jupiter, FL
June 6, 2024

 A great boating day turned into a great beach day as we headed out with friends yesterday. The plan was to motor down and check out the US-1 bridge construction and then head for a beach. 

The water, as it was just after high tide, was crystal clear. Truly. We could see the bottom at 15 feet depth. That is something that does not often happen here. 

On the Beach
Tequesta, FL
June 6, 2024
The bridge construction was exciting as they have started placing the beams for the second span. We may actually have a US-1 highway bridge over the Loxahatchee River by November! That would certainly ease the wintertime traffic congestion. We saw additional beams on a barge waiting to be emplaced. 

Osprey in a Tree
Jupiter Island, FL
June 6, 2024
After passing through the bridge construction area we turned around and headed back north to a fairly secluded, accessible only by boat, beach up the ICW. There is one very popular beach, but I chose to head a bit further north to an area where boat access is easy, but most boater choose not to land because it is a narrow strip of beach that, since the tide was going out, I knew would get larger as we enjoyed ourselves. I had to adjust the boat on the beach after an hour or so as the receding tide meant that it was becoming a bit too beached for my liking. Turns out, that was a good choice. We were able to get underway after enjoying lunch and a few hours in the sun without having to resort to extreme measures to reflect the boat. 

As it was just after noon, we motored north to Bridge Road in Hobe Sound to enjoy the wild areas that can only be observed from the water. We happened upon a pair of Ospreys in a tree who did not seem to mind ur presence. I was able to get a fairly good image of one of them, but the other flew off before I could frame a shot of both of them. 

It was a very enjoyable morning and we returned to the marina about 1:30 PM after four hours of boating and beaching.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

#boating #ICW #osprey #US1bridgejupiter 

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Biking, Boating, and Beaching

Shooting into the Sun
Carlin Park, Jupiter, FL
June 3, 2024

 Yesterday's tune-up ride with my newly adjusted bike went well.

The bike worked to perfection, except for a small click in one of the gears. I may take it back in tomorrow to have the click checked if it doesn't go away during my ride. 

Now, however, my big project is that I am beginning to pack the panniers for the ride and trying to decide which items should go where. It is not easy since I have never attempted a ride with the complexity and length of the GAP. I know that I will forget something, probably something important. 

Today, however, is a boat day! We will cruise the intracoastal and get some beach time. I haven't yet decided exactly which beach to beach the boat at, but given that the tide will be high, but receding, there should be a couple of nice beaches from which to choose.  

Should be a nice Thursday. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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